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  • Kavén, Pertti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The evacuation of Finnish children to Sweden during WW II has often been called a small migration . Historical research on this subject is scarce, considering the great number of children involved. The present research has applied, apart from the traditional archive research, the framework of history-culture developed by Rüsen in order to have an all-inclusive approach to the impact of this historical event. The framework has three dimensions: political, aesthetic and cognitive. The collective memory of war children has also been discussed. The research looks for political factors involved in the evacuations during the Winter War and the Continuation War and the post-war period. The approach is wider than a purely humanitarian one. Political factors have had an impact in both Finland and Sweden, beginning from the decision-making process and ending with the discussion of the unexpected consequences of the evacuations in the Finnish Parliament in 1950. The Winter War (30.11.1939 13.3.1940) witnessed the first child transports. These were also the model for future decision making. The transports were begun on the initiative of Swedes Maja Sandler, the wife of the resigned minister of foreign affairs Rickard Sandler, and Hanna Rydh-Munck af Rosenschöld , but this activity was soon accepted by the Swedish government because the humanitarian help in the form of child transports lightened the political burden of Prime Minister Hansson, who was not willing to help Finland militarily. It was help that Finland never asked for and it was rejected at the beginning. The negative response of Minister Juho Koivisto was not taken very seriously. The political forces in Finland supporting child transports were stronger than those rejecting them. The major politicians in support belonged to Finland´s Swedish minority. In addition, close to 1 000 Finnish children remained in Sweden after the Winter War. No analysis was made of the reasons why these children did not return home. A committee set up to help Finland and Norway was established in Sweden in 1941. Its chairman was Torsten Nothin, an influential Swedish politician. In December 1941 he appealed to the Swedish government to provide help to Finnish children under the authority of The International Red Cross. This plea had no results. The delivery of great amounts of food to Finland, which was now at war with Great Britain, had automatically caused reactions among the allies against the Swedish imports through Gothenburg. This included the import of oil, which was essential for the Swedish navy and air force. Oil was later used successfully to force a reduction in commerce between Sweden and Finland. The contradiction between Sweden´s essential political interests and humanitarian help was solved in a way that did not harm the country´s vital political interests. Instead of delivering help to Finland, Finnish children were transported to Sweden through the organisations that had already been created. At the beginning of the Continuation War (25.6.1941 27.4.1945) negative opinion regarding child transports re-emerged in Finland. Karl-August Fagerholm implemented the transports in September 1941. In 1942, members of the conservative parties in the Finnish Parliament expressed their fear of losing the children to the Swedes. They suggested that Finland should withdraw from the inter-Nordic agreement, according to which the adoptions were approved by the court of the country where the child resided. This initiative failed. Paavo Virkkunen, an influential member of the conservative party Kokoomus in Finland, favoured the so-called good-father system, where help was delivered to Finland in the form of money and goods. Virkkunen was concerned about the consequences of a long stay in a Swedish family. The risk of losing the children was clear. The extreme conservative party (IKL, the Patriotic Movement of the Finnish People) wanted to alienate Finland from Sweden and bring Finland closer to Germany. Von Blücher, the German ambassador to Finland, had in his report to Berlin, mentioned the political consequences of the child transports. Among other things, they would bring Finland and Sweden closer to each other. He had also paid attention to the Nordic political orientation in Finland. He did not question or criticize the child transports. His main interest was to increase German political influence in Finland, and the Nordic political orientation was an obstacle. Fagerholm was politically ill-favoured by the Germans, because he had a strong Nordic political disposition and had criticised Germany´s activities in Norway. The criticism of child transports was at the same time criticism of Fagerholm. The official censorship organ of the Finnish government (VTL) denied the criticism of child transports in January 1942. The reasons were political. Statements made by members of the Finnish Parliament were also censored, because it was thought that they would offend the Swedes. In addition, the censorship organ used child transports as a means of active propaganda aimed at improving the relations between the two countries. The Finnish Parliament was informed in 1948 that about 15 000 Finnish children still remained in Sweden. These children would stay there permanently. In 1950 the members of the Agrarian Party in Finland stated that Finland should actively strive to get the children back. The party on the left (SKDL, the Democratic Movement of Finnish People) also focused on the unexpected consequences of the child transports. The Social Democrats, and largely Fagerholm, had been the main force in Finland behind the child transports. Members of the SKDL, controlled by Finland´s Communist Party, stated that the war time authorities were responsible for this war loss. Many of the Finnish parents could not get their children back despite repeated requests. The discussion of the problem became political, for example von Born, a member of the Swedish minority party RKP, related this problem to foreign policy by stating that the request to repatriate the Finnish children would have negative political consequences for the relations between Finland and Sweden. He emphasized expressing feelings of gratitude to the Swedes. After the war a new foreign policy was established by Prime Minister (1944 1946) and later President (1946 1956) Juho Kusti Paasikivi. The main cornerstone of this policy was to establish good relations with the Soviet Union. The other, often forgotten, cornerstone was to simultaneously establish good relations with other Nordic countries, especially Sweden, as a counterbalance. The unexpected results of the child evacuation, a Swedish initiative, had violated the good relations with Sweden. The motives of the Democratic Movement of Finnish People were much the same as those of the Patriotic Movement of Finnish People. Only the ideology was different. The Nordic political orientation was an obstacle to both parties. The position of the Democratic Movement of Finnish People was much better than that of the Patriotic Movement of Finnish People, because now one could clearly see the unexpected results, which included human tragedy for the many families who could not be re-united with their children despite their repeated requests. The Swedes questioned the figure given to the Finnish Parliament regarding the number of children permanently remaining in Sweden. This research agrees with the Swedes. In a calculation based on Swedish population registers, the number of these children is about 7 100. The reliability of this figure is increased by the fact that the child allowance programme began in Sweden in 1948. The prerequisite to have this allowance was that the child be in the Swedish population register. It was not necessary for the child to have Swedish nationality. The Finnish Parliament had false information about the number of Finnish children who remained in Sweden in 1942 and in 1950. There was no parliamentary control in Finland regarding child transports, because the decision was made by one cabinet member and speeches by MPs in the Finnish Parliament were censored, like all criticism regarding child transports to Sweden. In Great Britain parliamentary control worked better throughout the whole war, because the speeches regarding evacuation were not censored. At the beginning of the war certain members of the British Labour Party and the Welsh Nationalists were particularly outspoken about the scheme. Fagerholm does not discuss to any great extent the child transports in his memoirs. He does not evaluate the process and results as a whole. This research provides some possibilities for an evaluation of this sort. The Swedish medical reports give a clear picture of the physical condition of the Finnish children when arriving in Sweden. The transports actually revealed how bad the situation of the poorest children was. According to Titmuss, similar observations were made in Great Britain during the British evacuations. The child transports saved the lives of approximately 2 900 children. Most of these children were removed to Sweden to receive treatment for illnesses, but many among the healthy children were undernourished and some suffered from the effects of tuberculosis. The medical inspection in Finland was not thorough. If you compare the figure of 2 900 children saved and returned with the figure of about 7 100 children who remained permanently in Sweden, you may draw the conclusion that Finland as a country failed to benefit from the child transports, and that the whole operation was a political mistake with far-reaching consequenses. The basic goal of the operation was to save lives and have all the children return to Finland after the war. The difficulties with the repatriation of the children were mainly psychological. The level of child psychology in Finland at that time was low. One may question the report by Professor Martti Kaila regarding the adaptation of children to their families back in Finland. Anna Freud´s warnings concerning the difficulties that arise when child evacuees return are also valid in Finland. Freud viewed the emotional life of children in a way different from Kaila: the physical survival of a small child forces her to create strong emotional ties to the person who is looking after her. This, a characteristic of all small children, occurred with the Finnish children too, and it was something the political decision makers in Finland could not see during and after the war. It is a characteristic of all little children. Yet, such experiences were already evident during the Winter War. The best possible solution had been to limit the child transports only to children in need of medical treatment. Children from large and poor families had been helped by organising meals and by buying food from Denmark with Swedish money. Assisting Finland by all possible means should have been the basic goal of Fagerholm in September 1941, when the offer of child transports came from Sweden. Fagerholm felt gratitude towards the Swedes. The risks became clear to him only in 1943. The war children are today a rather scattered and diffuse group of people. Emotionally, part of these children remained in Sweden after the war. There is no clear collective memory, only individual memories; the collective memory of the war children has partly been shaped later through the activities of the war child associations. The main difference between the children evacuated in Finland (for example from Karelia to safer areas with their families) and the war children, who were sent abroad, is that the war children lack a shared story and experience with their families. They were outsiders . The whole matter is sensitive to many of such mothers and discussing the subject has often been avoided in families. The war-time censorship has continued in families through silence and avoidance and Finnish politicians and Finnish families had to face each other on this issue after the war. The lack of all-inclusive historical research has also prevented the formation of a collective awareness among war children returned to Finland or those remaining permanently abroad.. Knowledge of historical facts will help war-children by providing an opportunity to create an all-inclusive approach to the past. Personal experiences should be regarded as part of a large historical entity shadowed by war and where many political factors were at work in both Finland and Sweden. This means strengthening of the cognitive dimension discussed in Rüsen´s all-inclusive historical approach.
  • Chen, Ren Wei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Hokynar, Kati (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Human parvovirus B19 is a minute ssDNA virus causing a wide variety of diseases, including erythema infectiosum, arthropathy, anemias, and fetal death. After primary infection, genomic DNA of B19 has been shown to persist in solid tissues of not only symptomatic but also of constitutionally healthy, immunocompetent individuals. In this thesis, the viral DNA was shown to persist as an apparently intact molecule of full length, and without persistence-specific mutations. Thus, although the mere presence of B19 DNA in tissue can not be used as a diagnostic criterion, a possible role in the pathogenesis of diseases e.g. through mRNA or protein production can not be excluded. The molecular mechanism, the host-cell type and the possible clinical significance of B19 DNA tissue persistence are yet to be elucidated. In the beginning of this work, the B19 genomic sequence was considered highly conserved. However, new variants were found: V9 was detected in 1998 in France, in serum of a child with aplastic crisis. This variant differed from the prototypic B19 sequences by ~10 %. In 2002 we found, persisting in skin of constitutionally healthy humans, DNA of another novel B19 variant, LaLi. Genetically this variant differed from both the prototypic sequences and the variant V9 also by ~10%. Simultaneously, B19 isolates with DNA sequences similar to LaLi were introduced by two other groups, in the USA and France. Based on phylogeny, a classification scheme based on three genotypes (B19 types 1-3) was proposed. Although the B19 virus is mainly transmitted via the respiratory route, blood and plasma-derived products contaminated with high levels of B19 DNA have also been shown to be infectious. The European Pharmacopoeia stipulates that, in Europe, from the beginning of 2004, plasma pools for manufacture must contain less than 104 IU/ml of B19 DNA. Quantitative PCR screening is therefore a prerequisite for restriction of the B19 DNA load and obtaining of safe plasma products. Due to the DNA sequence variation among the three B19 genotypes, however, B19 PCR methods might fail to detect the new variants. We therefore examined the suitability of the two commercially available quantitative B19 PCR tests, LightCycler-Parvovirus B19 quantification kit (Roche Diagnostics) and RealArt Parvo B19 LC PCR (Artus), for detection, quantification and differentiation of the three B19 types known, including B19 types 2 and 3. The former method was highly sensitive for detection of the B19 prototype but was not suitable for detection of types 2 and 3. The latter method detected and differentiated all three B19 virus types. However, one of the two type-3 strains was detected at a lower sensitivity. Then, we assessed the prevalence of the three B19 virus types among Finnish blood donors, by screening pooled plasma samples derived from >140 000 blood-donor units: none of the pools contained detectable levels of B19 virus types 2 or 3. According to the results of other groups, B19 type 2 was absent also among Danish blood-donors, and extremely rare among symptomatic European patients. B19 type 3 has been encountered endemically in Ghana and (apparently) in Brazil, and sporadical cases have been detected in France and the UK. We next examined the biological characteristics of these virus types. The p6 promoter regions of virus types 1-3 were cloned in front of a reporter gene, the constructs were transfected into different cell lines, and the promoter activities were measured. As a result, we found that the activities of the three p6 promoters, although differing in sequence by >20%, were of equal strength, and most active in B19-permissive cells. Furthermore, the infectivity of the three B19 types was examined in two B19-permissive cell lines. RT-PCR revealed synthesis of spliced B19 mRNAs, and immunofluorescence verified the production of NS1 and VP proteins in the infected cells. These experiments suggested similar host-cell tropism and showed that the three virus types are strains of the same species, i.e. human parvovirus B19. Last but not least, the sera from subjects infected in the past either with B19 type 1 or type 2 (as evidenced by tissue persistence of the respective DNAs), revealed in VP1/2- and VP2-EIAs a 100 % cross-reactivity between virus types 1 and 2. These results, together with similar studies by others, indicate that the three B19 genotypes constitute a single serotype.
  • Riipinen, Anita (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) is known to cause anemia, hydrops fetalis, and fetal death especially during the first half of pregnancy. Women who are in occupational contact with young children are at increased risk of B19V infection. The role of the recently discovered human parvovirus, human bocavirus (HBoV), in reproduction is unknown. The aim of this research project was to establish a scientific basis for assessing the work safety of pregnant women and for issuing special maternity leave regulations during B19V epidemics in Finland. The impact of HBoV infection on the pregnant woman and her fetus was also defined. B19V DNA was found in 0.8% of the miscarriages and in 2.4% of the intrauterine fetal death (IUFD; fetal death after completed 22 gestational weeks). All control fetuses (from induced abortions) were B19V-DNA negative. The findings on hydropic B19V DNA-positive IUFDs with evidence of acute or recent maternal B19V infection are in line with those of previous Swedish studies. However, the high prevalence of B19V-related nonhydropic IUFDs noted in the Swedish studies was mostly without evidence of maternal B19V infection and was not found during the third trimester. HBoV was not associated with miscarriages or IUFDs. Almost all of the studied pregnant women were HboV-IgG positive, and thus most probably immune to HBoV. All preterm births, perinatal deaths, smallness for gestational age (SGA) and congenital anomaly were recorded among the infants of child-care employees in a nationwide register-based cohort study over a period of 14 years. Little or no differences in the results were found between the infants of the child-care employees and those of the comparison group. The annual B19V seroconversion rate was over two-fold among the child-care employees, compared to the women in the comparison group. The seropositivity of the child-care employees increased with age, and years from qualification/joining the trade union. In general, the child-care employees are not at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcome. However, at the population level, the risk of rare events, such as adverse pregnancy outcomes attributed to infections, could not be determined. According to previous studies, seronegative women had a 5 10% excess risk of losing the fetus during the first half of their pregnancy, but thereafter the risk was very low. Therefore, an over two-fold increased risk of B19V infection among child-care employees is considerable, and should be taken into account in the assessment of the occupational safety of pregnant women, especially during the first half of their pregnancy.
  • Lappalainen, Ilkka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Shakeel, Shabih (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Pathogenic human picornaviruses are known to cause a wide variety of diseases ranging from mild colds to severe paralysis. In addition to their importance in causing disease, they also serve as models for understanding the basic mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions, virus entry, viral genome release, viral synthesis and viral assembly. In picornaviruses, the majority of the structural and host-cell interaction studies have been conducted on polioviruses and human rhinoviruses. Picornaviruses like coxsackievirus A 7, coxsackievirus A 9 and human parechovirus 1 have not been so well studied because of difficulties in culturing them. Recently, the number of cases reported for infection by these viruses has increased dramatically due to better detection methods, thus making structural studies of these viruses and their interactions with their host cells important in order to understand their mode of infection so that better therapeutics can be designed against them. I have studied coxsackievirus A 7, coxsackievirus A 9 and human parechovirus 1, which are all pathogenic picornaviruses, in order to understand the mechanism of pathogenesis, tropism, viral entry and assembly for these viruses in particular and for picornaviruses in general. Two studies dealt with determining the structure of coxsackievirus A 7, a Human Enterovirus A species for which there was no structural information available at the time when this study was conducted. The genome-filled and empty structure of coxsackievirus A 7 were determined using cryo electron microscopy to sub-nanometer resolution which helped in building pseudo-atomic models for them using homology modelling and flexible fitting. With the help of these models, the majority of the strain variations in the capsid proteins were identified on the surface of VP1. Such variations are the likely cause of differences in pathogenesis and tropism between strains. Furthermore, superimposition of these models showed that the capsid underwent a conformational change on RNA release. In the process, generalised methods for optimising and comparing results from flexible fitting were developed. The next structural study elucidated the interaction of coxsackievirus A 9, a Human Enterovirus B species, with a cellular receptor. Integrins were found to bind sub-stoichiometrically to the capsid using electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET). Asymmetric reconstruction indicated that this was probably due to steric hindrance. The affinity of this interaction was calculated to be 1nM using surface plasmon resonance. Additionally, the conformational changes which occur on its RNA release were quantified. The fourth study explained the importance of viral RNA in picornavirus assembly. Pentameric intermediates of human parechovirus 1 were isolated and used to identify packaging signals in the viral RNA required for capsid assembly using aptamer library screening and next generation sequencing analysis. Poly-U was identified as the common motif for these packaging signals present on the stem or the loop of the RNA secondary structure. Overall, this thesis gives an insight into many important aspects of host-virus interactions especially the events occurring on viral RNA exit and during its encapsidation. The work in this thesis could be utilized to identify potential targets for antiviral synthesis and also to define general virus assembly principles.
  • Mikkola, Milla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Human pluripotent stem cells (including embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells) are defined by two important characteristics: unlimited self-renewal capacity and ability to switch on various differentiation pathways. These unique properties make them valuable tools for basic research and for the development of regenerative therapies. Since the discovery of stem cells, diverse culture conditions have been developed. Pluripotent stem cells are cultured either in the presence of feeder cells or with extracellular matrix components that together with growing colonies create a niche supporting the growth of undifferentiated cells. Current standard in vitro cell culture techniques are based on the use of xenogeneic reagents. However, this is not compatible with the clinical applications of human pluripotent stem cells. The aim of this study was to develop optimal culture conditions for pluripotent stem cells without the use of xenogeneic reagents, based on the analysis of their cell surface glycan expression. Initially, postnatal human feeder cells, foreskin fibroblasts, were shown to support the derivation of new embryonic stem cell lines and continued undifferentiated growth of these cells. However, the growth rate of stem cells was significantly lower on human feeder cells than on mouse embryonic fibroblasts. This feature restricts the use of human feeder cells for large-scale cell production of stem cells. Next, a number of human embryonic stem cell lines were derived and characterized in detail. The results show that despite of similar basic characteristics in the undifferentiated state, the differentiation capacity of stem cell lines varies. This highlights the need to identify markers that reliably predict cell lineage propensity of the stem cells lines. To identify such predictive markers we conducted a global analysis of cell surface glycans expressed on pluripotent human stem cells. The results show that embryonic stem cells have a unique glycan fingerprint that differs from their differentiated derivatives. This suggests that information of stem cell surface glycans can be used to design markers that define specific stages of differentiation. In addition, this information can be used to develop defined reagents for stem cell culture. Based on the analysis of stem cell surface glycans, specific glycan-binding lectins were studied for their capacity to support human pluripotent stem cells. This lead to the discovery of a lectin, Erythrina Cristagalli (ECA) as a potent simple defined matrix for human pluripotent stem cells. This simple defined matrix, combined with a defined culture medium and the use of a Rho-kinase inhibitor at the time of cell propagation, allowed more efficient production of high-quality human pluripotent stem cells than Matrigel®, the current standard acellular matrix used for stem cell culture. Taken together, these studies advance the development of technologies needed for the efficient generation of fully undifferentiated human pluripotent stem cells in defined conditions.
  • Juvonen, Annimari (2008)
    Ihmisoikeusdiskurssi on yksi transnationaalinen kieli, jonka avulla voidaan lähestyä siirtolaisuutta. Tämä tutkimus pyrkii hahmottamaan niitä tapoja, joilla abstrakteja ihmisoikeusmäärittelyjä, kuten Yhdistyneissä Kansakunnissa laadittua siirtolaisten ja heidän perheidensä ihmisoikeuksia turvaavaa sopimusta, tehdään merkitykselliseksi tietyssä kontekstissa. Tämän työn konteksti on Portugalilainen yhteiskunta, sekä kirkon ja valtion erillinen, mutta limittäinen suhde. Siirtolaisten ihmisoikeussopimusta ei ole vielä ratifioitu missään Euroopan maassa, mikä symboloi kirkolle katkosta ihmisoikeuksien universaalisuudelle. Työssä pohditaan, sitä, kuinka kirkko pyrkii puhuttelemaan transnationaalista yleisöään sekä kritisoimaan sekä valtiollista että alueellista tahoa ihmisoikeuksille että katolilaisuudelle keskeisen metaforan, universaalin ihmiskunnan muodostaman perheen, avulla. Ihmisoikeudet tulevat merkityksellisiksi katolilaisille toimijoille perhe-käsitteen kautta, ja siirtolaisten ihmisoikeussopimus tulkitaan vastaliikkeeksi ihmisoikeusjärjestelmän individualismin korostamiselle, ja siten tukien katolilaista käsitystä ihmisen ja yhteiskunnan hyvinvoinnin perustasta. Tutkimuksessa on medialähteiden avulla pyritty hahmottamaan Portugalilaisen siirtolaiskeskustelun pääpiirteitä sekä niitä tilanteita, joissa ihmisoikeusdiskurssia käytetään. Portugalilaisten piispojen saarnojen ja puheiden avulla käsitellään ihmisoikeuksien, uskonnon ja valtion suhdetta keskeisten käsitteiden kautta. Konkreettisena esimerkkinä katolilaisten toimijoiden tavasta yhdistää ihmisoikeusvaatimuksia uskonnolliseen retoriikkaan toimii Fátiman pyhiinvaelluksella esiin tuotu huoli siirtolaisten ihmisoikeuksien toteutumattomuudesta piispa Januário Torgal Ferreiran toimesta. Pyhiinvaelluksen transformatiivinen voima siis tukee ihmisoikeusvaatimuksia. Fátiman kultti, jolla on ollut vahva nationalistinen perinne erityisesti Portugalin diktatuurin aikaan, on nyt näyttämö transnationaaleille ja moderneille ideoille. Tämän työn keskeinen havainto on se, että ihmisoikeusdiskurssi toimii eräänä määrittäjänä kirkon ja valtion suhteelle, koska se liitetään katoliseen humanismiin, mikä puolestaan pyrkii tasapainottamaan valtion sekulaaria politiikkaa. Uskonnon ja valtion suhde modernissa yhteiskunnassa mielletään usein erilliseksi, koska yliluonnollisen maailman ei haluta sekaantuvan sekulaarin valtion toimintaan. Portugalissa kirkko on kuitenkin ollut olennainen osa valtion historiaa, eikä ns. sekularisaatioprosessi ole työntänyt sitä syrjään hegemonisesta asemastaan Portugalilaisessa yhteiskunnassa. Tässä työssä pohditaan niitä syitä, jotka mahdollistavat uskonnon astumisen yhteiskunnan julkiselle alueelle modernissa yhteiskunnassa, ja edesauttavat katolilaisten toimijoiden välittävän roolin rakentumista. Human rights discourse is one of the transnational languages, which may be used to approach migration. This study aims at scetching the ways how abstract human rights articulations, such as the convention drafted in the United Nations for the protection of the human rights of migrants and their families, are made meaningful in a particular context. The context of this study is the Portuguese society, and the distinct but overlapping relationship between the Church and the state. The convention protecting the human rights of migrants has not been ratified in any of the European countries so far, which the Catholic Church considers as a departure from the universality inherent to human rights. This study considers the way the Church aims at addressing its transnational audience and at criticizing the national and regional spheres through a common concept to both human rights and Catholicism, the universal human family. Human rights become meaningful to the Catholic actors through the concept of family, and the convention on the human rights of migrants is interpreted as a countermovement to the emphasis on individualism, characteristic to the human rights system; thus supporting the Catholic conceptualization about the foundation of the well-being of both the individual and the society. This study has relied on media sources to scetch the main features of the Portuguese discourse on migration and the particular situations in which human rights discourse is used. The homilies of Portuguese Bishops have provided the central concepts through which the relationship between human rights, religion, and the state are discussed. A concrete example of the way how the Catholic actors unite human rights claims with religious rhetoric is a concern over the human rights of migrants brought forward by Bishop Januário Torgal Ferreira during the pilgrimage of Fátima. The transformative power of a pilgrimage thus supports the human rights claims. The cult of Fátima, which holds a strong nationalist tradition due to the legacy of the dictatorship, is now a stage for transnational and modern ideas. The central observation of this study is that human rights discourse functions as a definer of the relationship between the Church and the state, because it is associated with Catholic humanism which aims at balancing the secular politics of the state. In the modern society this relationship is often perceived as distinct, because the interference of the supernatural in the politics of the secular state is not wanted. However, in the Portuguese society the Church has been consitutive to the history of the nation-state, and the so-called secularization process has not pushed it aside from the hegemonic position that it enjoys in the Portuguese society. This study traces the reasons which enable the religious to enter the public sphere of the modern society, and contribute to the construction of the intermadiary role of the Catholic actors.
  • Juvonen, Annimari (2008)
    Human rights discourse is one of the transnational languages, which may be used to approach migration. This study aims at scetching the ways how abstract human rights articulations, such as the convention drafted in the United Nations for the protection of the human rights of migrants and their families, are made meaningful in a particular context. The context of this study is the Portuguese society, and the distinct but overlapping relationship between the Church and the state. The convention protecting the human rights of migrants has not been ratified in any of the European countries so far, which the Catholic Church considers as a departure from the universality inherent to human rights. This study considers the way the Church aims at addressing its transnational audience and at criticizing the national and regional spheres through a common concept to both human rights and Catholicism, the universal human family. Human rights become meaningful to the Catholic actors through the concept of family, and the convention on the human rights of migrants is interpreted as a countermovement to the emphasis on individualism, characteristic to the human rights system; thus supporting the Catholic conceptualization about the foundation of the well-being of both the individual and the society. This study has relied on media sources to scetch the main features of the Portuguese discourse on migration and the particular situations in which human rights discourse is used. The homilies of Portuguese Bishops have provided the central concepts through which the relationship between human rights, religion, and the state are discussed. A concrete example of the way how the Catholic actors unite human rights claims with religious rhetoric is a concern over the human rights of migrants brought forward by Bishop Januário Torgal Ferreira during the pilgrimage of Fátima. The transformative power of a pilgrimage thus supports the human rights claims. The cult of Fátima, which holds a strong nationalist tradition due to the legacy of the dictatorship, is now a stage for transnational and modern ideas. The central observation of this study is that human rights discourse functions as a definer of the relationship between the Church and the state, because it is associated with Catholic humanism which aims at balancing the secular politics of the state. In the modern society this relationship is often perceived as distinct, because the interference of the supernatural in the politics of the secular state is not wanted. However, in the Portuguese society the Church has been consitutive to the history of the nation-state, and the so-called secularization process has not pushed it aside from the hegemonic position that it enjoys in the Portuguese society. This study traces the reasons which enable the religious to enter the public sphere of the modern society, and contribute to the construction of the intermadiary role of the Catholic actors.
  • Petman, Jarna (2012)
    What a paradox human rights are. As positive legal enactments, they are the result of political bargaining and thus speak the language of rules, concrete and verifiable; but they also hold an intangible promise of the universally good that is not reducible to particular political communities, to time or place as such, they reach beyond the mere text of enacted rules and evoke the cosmopolitan purpose of those rules. This dual nature makes human rights strong and accounts for their extraordinary appeal. Because of the co-existence of two separate strands that challenge and threaten each other, however, there is a fundamental tension within rights. This ambivalence is but a reflection of the ambivalence prevailing in human societies. Acknowledging the irredeemability of such irresolution is one of the controlling ideas behind liberal democracies that accordingly accept pluralism as a form of organizing human co-existence. The problem is, though, that in the plurality of equal voices there can be no markers of certainty. This has important consequences for the way in which relations within liberal democracies are governed. This thesis will offer a critical, albeit sympathetic, exploration of the conditions for and possibilities of practising and enforcing human rights with violence, if need be in a conceptual and professional world steeped in ambivalence. Because there can be no general solution to conflicts in which equal and yet different claims compete against each other, the thesis will argue, those who are in positions of power to decide are fundamentally at a loss and therefore fundamentally responsible. The crucial question is not whether we can remain certain that we are right, but whether we can remain responsible for the justice of our causes. This is where the hope and the fear of the liberal world reside.
  • Halme, Miia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    In the post-World War II era human rights have emerged as an enormous global phenomenon. In Finland human rights have particularly in the 1990s moved from the periphery to the center of public policy making and political rhetoric. Human rights education is commonly viewed as the decisive vehicle for emancipating individuals of oppressive societal structures and rendering them conscious of the equal value of others; both core ideals of the abstract discourse. Yet little empirical research has been conducted on how these goals are realized in practice. These factors provide the background for the present study which, by combining anthropological insights with critical legal theory, has analyzed the educational activities of a Scandinavian and Nordic network of human rights experts and PhD students in 2002-2005. This material has been complemented by data from the proceedings of UN human rights treaty bodies, hearings organized by the Finnish Foreign Ministry, the analysis of different human rights documents as well as the manner human rights are talked of in the Finnish media. As the human rights phenomenon has expanded, human rights experts have acquired widespread societal influence. The content of human rights remains, nevertheless, ambiguous: on the one hand they are law, on the other, part of a moral discourse. By educating laymen on what human rights are, experts act both as intermediaries and activists who expand the scope of rights and simultaneously exert increasing political influence. In the educational activities of the analyzed network these roles were visible in the rhetorics of legality and legitimacy . Among experts both of these rhetorics are subject to ongoing professional controversy, yet in the network they are presented as undisputable facts. This contributes to the impression that human rights knowledge is uncontested. This study demonstrates how the network s activities embody and strengthen a conception of expertise as located in specific, structurally determined individuals. Simultaneously its conception of learning emphasizes the adoption of knowledge by students, emphasizing the power of experts over them. The majority of the network s experts are Nordic males, whereas its students are predominantly Nordic females and males from East-European and developing countries. Contrary to the ideals of the discourse the network s activities do not create dialogue, but instead repeat power structures which are themselves problematic.
  • Sykes, Kirsi-Mari Kristiina (2006)
    Tämä pro gradu -tutkielma on teksti- ja käsitteellinen analyysi, jonka aiheena on inhimillinen turvallisuus Kanadan ulkopolitiikan osana. Tutkimuksen viitekehyksenä toimivat suvereniteetti-käsite ja inhimillisen turvallisuuden käsite. Inhimillisellä turvallisuudella tarkoitetaan yksilön turvaamista, kun taas valtion suvereniteetti viittaa valtion turvallisuuteen. Yhä yhtenäisemmässä maailmassa tavanomainen suvereniteetti käsitys ei enää riitä. Tutkimuksen keskeinen argumentti onkin, että inhimillinen turvallisuus voi parhaimmillaan täydentää tavanomaista suvereniteetti-käsitettä. Täten suvereniteetti ja inhimillinen turvallisuus muodostavat laajemman turvallisuuskäsitejatkumon. Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on osoittaa miksi Kanada on ottanut inhimillisen turvallisuuden ulkopoliittiselle agendalleen sekä miten tämä on vaikuttanut Kanadan ulkopolitiikkaan. Tutkimuskysymykseen vastataan ensiksi analysoimalla niin suvereniteetti-käsitettä, kuin inhimillisen turvallisuudenkin käsitettä. Seuraavaksi käsitellään Kanadan poliittista roolia rauhanturvaajamaana sekä vauraana länsimaana joka käyttää niin sanottua pehmeää valtaa (soft power). Tämä rooli on omalta osaltaan vaikuttanut Kanadan päätökseen sisällyttää inhimillinen turvallisuus osaksi kokonaisvaltaista ulkopolitiikkaansa. Lisäksi Kanadan multilateraalinen diplomatia on ollut tärkeä tekijä. Kolmanneksi, tutkimuksessa analysoidaan Kanadan viittä inhimillisen turvallisuuden ulkopolitiikalle asetettua päätavoitetta. Nämä ovat siviilien suojelu konflikteissa, rauhanturvaamisoperaatioiden hoitaminen, konfliktien ehkäisy, hyvä hallinto ja vastuuvelvollisuus sekä julkinen turvallisuus. Tutkimuksessa identifoidaan kolme pääkohtaa joilla inhimillisen turvallisuusden agenda on vaikuttanut Kanadan ulkopolitiikkaan. Ensin, Kanadan entisen ulkoministerin Lloyd Axworthyn työ jätti inhimillisen turvallisuuden osaksi Kanadan kokonaisvaltaista ulkopolitiikkaa. Ilman Axworthyn ideologista panosta, inhimillinen turvallisuus ei ehkä olisi noussut yhtä tärkeäksi osaksi Kanadan ulkopolitiikkaa. Toinen tärkeä virstanpylväs oli Kanadan valtion sponsoroima raportti, Responsibility to Protect – Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty vuonna 2001. Raportti asettaa tavoitteeksi siviilien turvaamisen, siis inhimillisen turvallisuuden lisäämisen. Kolmanneksi, Kanada on ollut johtoasemassa inhmillisen turvallisuuden edistämisessä maailmassa. Tärkeimmät saavutukset ovat muunmuassa maamiinat kieltävä sopimus sekä kansainvälinen rikostuomioistuin. Nämä saavutukset ovat tuoneet Kanadalle uskottavuutta niin kansainvälisesti. Tutkimuksessa päätellään, että Kanada on edistänyt inhimillistä turvallisuutta erinomaisesti johtoasemallaan. Puutteita kuitenkin on taloudellisten investointien osalta ja eritoten puolustusvoimien rauhanturvaamisoperaatioiden rahoituksessa ja kehitysapubudjetissa. Primääriaineistona tutkimuksessa on käytetty Kanadan valtion asiakirjoja, Kanadan ulkoministeriön verkkosivuja sekä McRaen ja Hubertin kirjaa Human Security and the New Diplomacy. Sekundääriainesto koostuu alan lehdistä, kansalaisjärjestöjen verkkosivustoista sekä YK:n eri alajärjestöjen asiakirjoista.
  • Sykes, Kirsi-Mari Kristiina (2006)
    Human Security and Sovereignty – Case of Canada’s Foreign Policy for Human Security, is a textual and conceptual analysis on state sovereignty and human security and of Canada’s foreign policy for human security. Human security refers to securing the individual, where state sovereignty refers to the security of a state. In the increasingly interconnected world, the traditional structures of state sovereignty are no longer enough. Therefore, the underlying argument of this research is that traditional state sovereignty can be complemented with human security. Hence, sovereignty and human security form a continuum of a more inclusive security. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate why Canada has integrated human security into its foreign policy and how the adoption of this policy has influenced the wider Canadian foreign policy. This is done by first providing an analysis on the main structures of both state sovereignty and human security. Second, Canada’s role as a peacekeeping nation and wealthy middle power state have influenced the decision for adopting such a policy. In addition, Canada’s multilateral diplomacy has played an important role in advancing human security agenda. Third, Canada’s five human security agenda areas are introduced and analyzed in order to demonstrate how the human security agenda works and how it has influenced the overall foreign policy. These five areas are public safety, protection of civilians, conflict prevention, governance and accountability and peace support operations. This research identifies three main issues that have influenced the overall Canadian foreign policy since the adoption of foreign policy for human security. First, the former Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy successfully introduced human security into Canada’s foreign policy. This left Canada with an actual human security foreign policy. Second, an important milestone was the Canadian government sponsored Responsibility to Protect – Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty in 2001. This report set out a shift towards commitment to the protection of civilians, hence providing greater human security. Third, Canada has taken active leadership role in major international projects to improve human security. The main successes have been the banning of landmines and the International Criminal Court. These successes have granted Canada more credibility on an international level. This research concludes that although Canada is to be applauded for its leadership role in advancing human security and following up with legislative action, there is a clear lack of financial dedication to the various human security areas and military investment towards peace support operations. The primary sources used are Canadian government’s documents on human security and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade websites. Additionally, McRae and Hubert’s Human Security and the New Diplomacy provides a comprehensive overview of Canada’s long-term efforts in integrating human security into actual policy. Secondary sources include articles in academic journals, websites of non-governmental organizations and various UN organizations’ documents.
  • Kakkola, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Torque teno virus (TTV) was discovered in 1997 in the serum of a Japanese patient who had a post-transfusion hepatitis of unknown etiology. It is a small virus containing a circular single-stranded DNA genome which is unique among human viruses. Within a few years after its discovery, the TTVs were noted to form a large family of viruses with numerous genotypes. TTV is highly prevalent among the general population throughout the world, and persistent infections and co-infections with several genotypes occur frequently. However, the pathogenicity and the mechanism for the sustained occurrence of the virus in blood are at present unclear. To determine the prevalence of TTV in Finland, we set up PCR methods and examined the sera of asymptomatic subjects for the presence of TTV DNA and for genotype-6 DNA. TTV was found to be highly prevalent also in Finland; 85% of adults harbored TTV in their blood, and 4% were infected with genotype-6. In addition, TTV DNA was detected in a number of different tissues, with no tissue-type or symptom specificity. Most cell-biological events during TTV infections are at the moment unknown. Replicating TTV DNA has, however, been detected in liver and the hematopoietic compartment, and three mRNAs are known to be generated. To characterize TTV cell biology in more detail, we cloned in full length the genome of TTV genotype 6. We showed that in human kidney-derived cells TTV produces altogether six proteins with distinct subcellular localizations. TTV mRNA transcription was detected in all cell lines transfected with the full-length clone, and TTV DNA replicated in several of them, including those of erythroid, kidney, and hepatic origin. Furthermore, the viral DNA replication was shown to utilize the cellular DNA polymerases. Diagnoses of TTV infections have been based almost solely on PCR, whereas serological tests, measuring antibody responses, would give more information on many aspects of these infections. To investigate the TTV immunology in more detail, we produced all six TTV proteins for use as antigens in serological tests. We detected in human sera IgM and IgG antibodies to occur simultaneously with TTV DNA, and observed appearance of TTV DNA regardless of pre-existing antibodies, and disappearance of TTV DNA after antibody appearance. The genotype-6 nucleotide sequence remained stable for years within the infected subjects, suggesting that some mechanism other than mutations is used by this minute virus to evade our immune system and to establish chronic infections in immunocompetent subjects.
  • Itkonen, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Human pancreatic juice contains two major trypsinogen isoenzymes called trypsinogen-1 and -2, or cationic and anionic trypsinogen, respectively. Trypsinogen isoenzymes are also expressed in various normal and malignant tissues. We aimed at developing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and time-resolved immunofluorometric methods recognizing human trypsinogen-1 and -2, respectively. Using these MAbs and methods we purified, characterized and quantitated trypsinogen isoenzymes in serum samples, ovarian cyst fluids and conditioned cell culture media. In sera from healthy subjects and patients with extrapancreatic disease the concentration of trypsinogen-1 is higher than that of trypsinogen-2. However, in acute pancreatitis we found that the concentration of serum trypsinogen-2 is 50-fold higher than in controls, whereas the difference in trypsinogen-1 concentration is only 15-fold. This suggested that trypsinogen-2 could be used as a diagnostic marker for acute pancreatitis. In human ovarian cyst fluids tumor-associated trypsinogen-2 (TAT-2) is the predominant isoenzyme. Most notably, in mucinous cyst fluids the levels of TAT-2 were higher in borderline and malignant than in benign cases. The increased levels in association with malignancy suggested that TAT could be involved in ovarian tumor dissemination and breakage of tissue barriers. Serum samples from patients who had undergone pancreatoduodenectomy contained trypsinogen-2. Trypsinogen-1 was detected in only one of nine samples. These results suggested that the expression of trypsinogen is not restricted to the pancreas. Determination of the isoenzyme pattern by ion exchange chromatography revealed isoelectric variants of trypsinogen isoenzymes in serum samples. Intact trypsinogen isoenzymes and tryptic and chymotryptic trypsinogen peptides were purified and characterized by mass spectrometry, Western blot analysis and N-terminal sequencing. The results showed that pancreatic trypsinogen-1 and -2 are sulfated at tyrosine 154 (Tyr154), whereas TAT-2 from a colon carcinoma cell line is not. Tyr154 is located within the primary substrate binding pocket of trypsin, thus Tyr154 sulfation is likely to influence substrate binding. The previously known differences in charge, substrate specificity and inhibitor binding between pancreatic and tumor-associated trypsinogens are suggested to be caused by sulfation of Tyr154 in pancreatic trypsinogens.
  • Kuokkanen, Aleksi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
    Tutkimuksen tehtävänä on analysoida pitkän linjan katolisen ekumeenikon Hans Küngin uusinta uskontoteologista projektia. Sen perusajatuksen voi tiivistää seuraavasti: Uskonnoille on saatava yhteinen perusetiikka globaalin rauhan tavoittamiseksi. Lähdemateriaali koostuu Küngin 1980-luvulla alkaneen uskontoteologisen kauden tuotannosta. Tutkimusmetodina käytetään argumentatiivisesti painottunutta systemaattista analyysiä. Tarkoituksena on analysoida ja punnita premissejä, joilla Küng perustelee maailmaneetos-projektin tarpeellisuuden. Kolme käsitettä nousevat esiin: uskonto, maailmanrauha ja moraali. Nämä argumentit muodostavat samalla kontekstin, jossa Küngin teologiset perusprinsiipit tulevat esille. Küng käyttää sekä pragmatistista että filosofis-teologista metodia maailmaneetos-projektin perustelemisessa. Argumentatiivisen luonteensa vuoksi tutkielman ominaispiirre on keskustelevuus. Keskustelevuuteen liittyen tutkielmassa painottuu kriittinen näkökulma. Kokonaisanalyysissä hyödynnetään laajalti maailmaneetos-projektiin liittyvää kirjallisuutta ja varteenotettavia puheenvuoroja. Alussa esitellään Uskontojen maailmanparlamentin maailmaneetoksen julistus. Tämän asiakirjaan kohdistuvat kommenttipuheenvuorot muodostavat kontekstin, jonka piirissä Küngin projektiin liittyvää keskustelua usein käydään. Luvussa 2 käsitellään maailmaneetos-projektin ensimmäistä argumenttia, joka voidaan tiivistää seuraavasti: uskonto on välttämätön moraalin lähtökohta. Küngin pragmatistinen argumentti uskonnon puolesta on se, että uskonnot ovat käytännössä osoittautuneet parhaiksi moraalin vaalijoiksi. Küngin filosofis-teologinen argumentti puolestaan muodostuu väitteestä, että uskonto on myös teoreettisessa tarkastelussa ainoa kestävä vaihtoehto moraalin perustelemiselle. Küng perustaa jälkimmäisen argumentaationsa Kant-kritiikkiin. Kantin moraaliteorian tarkempi analyysi kuitenkin paljastaa, että maailmaneetos-projektin teologinen ansatsi on pikemminkin Kantin autonomiakäsitykselle analoginen. Luvussa 3 käsitellään toista argumenttia, joka kuvastuu olettamuksessa: maailmaneetos-projektin varsinainen päämäärä on maailmanrauha. Tällainen piirre viittaa reaalipolitiikkaan globaalissa mittakaavassa. Niistä muodostuu maailmaneetos-projektin pragmatistinen metodi tämän argumentin kohdalla. Maailmanrauha-argumenttia voidaan kuitenkin kritisoida sekä pragmatistiselta että filosofis-teologiselta kannalta. Tästä johtuen Küng itsekin viime kädessä hylkää pragmatismin ja nojaa filosofis-teologiseen argumentaatioon. Sen mukaan maailmanrauha ei voi olla ylin päämäärä, vaan moraali. Luvussa 4 moraalin keskeisyys maailmaneetos-projektissa tulee eksplisiittisesti ilmi. Vaikka Küng kritisoi pragmatistisen argumentaation turvin perinteisiä uskontoteologisia positioita epärealistismista,hän kuitenkin itse esittää filosofis-teologisen mallin totuuskriteeriksi kaikille uskonnoille. Tämän kriteerin eettinen osa on olennaisin ja Küng kutsuu sitä nimellä humanum. Tarkemmassa analyysissa humanum osoittautuu peruskantilaiseksi moraaliksi. Humanum on maailmaneetos-projektia strukturoiva filosofis-teologinen keskipiste. Tästä johtuen maailmaneetos-projekti altistuu kuitenkin uskontorealistiselle kritiikille: sen voidaan nähdä ajavan valistukseen perustuvaa klassista moraali-imperialismia vastoin uskontojen omaa itseymmärrystä. Tämä onkin projektin suurin ongelmakohta ainakin eettiseltä kannalta. Johtopäätöksenä voidaan todeta, että uskonnon rooli on maailmaneetos-projektissä korkeintaan moraalin käytännöllisenä motivaattorina. Maailmanrauha on sinänsä hyvä päämäärä, mutta vain siksi ja sikäli kuin se on sopusoinnussa Küngin humanistisen moraali-ihanteen kanssa. Küngin argumentaatio on pragmatistista ja hän vetoaa maailmaneetos-projektin argumentoinnissaan realismiin sekä poliittisella että uskontoteologisella tasolla. Tosiasiassa maailmaneetos-projektin voidaan nähdä perustuvan pragmatismin kanssa ristiriidassa oleviin ja siten myös epärealistisiin piilotavoitteisiin uskontojen moraalin länsimaistamisesta. Avainsanat: Globaali etiikka, uskontoteologia, teologinen etiikka, globalisaatio, rauha, Kant, pragmatismi
  • Rodriguez (Haarlammert), Miryam (2013)
    This thesis demonstrates how the semiotic framework, with an emphasis on cultural context, can be applied to selected visual works of art by contemporary Cuban artists Abel Barroso, Lázaro Saavedra, Fernando Rodríguez, and Sandra Ramos in order to broaden the understanding of Cuban art and culture. The semiotic framework and cultural approach are both interdisciplinary methods that enliven the discussion of two key aspects of contemporary Cuban art and culture—humor and narrative. Humor does not generally enter the realm of art criticism, but is an important part of Cuban society, which operates in daily life through language and images. Understanding Cuban humor, choteo, enables an insightful interpretation of the signs and symbols present in visual art. Narratives likewise characterize daily interactions. Telling jokes and sharing stories are common ways of relating with others within the Cuban community. In this thesis, an artwork is a collection of signs, which refer to customs and symbols outside of itself, for viewers to interpret. By combining and investigating aspects of contemporary Cuban visual art that are not discussed at length because humor is generally outside the scope of art criticism and narrative has generally been applied to literary analyses or comic arts, this thesis encourages the disruption of utilizing historically prescribed methodologies. Though the artists’ intentions will be addressed, semiotics is ‘reader oriented.’ Emphasizing how audiences process signs and how they interpret them to create meaning will be the focuses of the analysis. Key concepts include sign competence, cultural context, Peirce’s definitions of sign and symbol, visual narrative, and choteo. Examples of key questions to keep in mind are: How can or does the audience’s interpretation of an artwork change in relation to location or time? How do signs come to be interpreted as humorous or as narrative? These types of questions give attention to the process of seeing art and of deriving meaning from it.
  • Oilinki, Paula (1984)
  • Muinonen, Laura (2005)